Hawaiian Medicine and Western Laws

A grievously ill native Hawaiian woman seeks the service of a kahuna (Hawaiian physician), who claims to have secret powers over life and death. Under the kahuna’s prescription, the ill woman sprays a concoction of ti and awa leaves and brandy around her room to chase away the spirits, but instead died.

Now the kahuna is under arrest as a section of the penal code states, “any person who shall attempt the cure of another by practice of sorcery, witchcraft or any other superstitious or deceitful methods shall upon conviction be liable to punishment.”

Read about this attempt to cure an illness through tradition and when tradition clashes with Western laws in “A Kahuna Case.”

Royal Hawaiian Band in U.S. Newspapers

Interested in learning more about the only full-time municipal band in the United States? What about the only American band with a royal history?

Hawaii newspapers serve as a primary source for the Royal Hawaiian Band. They feature stories about the band, performance programs, and interviews. U.S. mainland newspapers also reviewed the band’s performances.

Check out this article about the Royal Hawaiian Band. “Read more about it!”

“Barbaric Babies” from Around the World

The California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 featured “barbaric babies” around the world. Ancestries included Hawaiian, Apache Indian from Arizona, Esquimau (eskimo), and Japanese.

The Morning Call (San Francisco) says, “such an assortment of barbaric babies will never be seen again, for race characteristics are disappearing rapidly and the customs of many strange tribes will be broken by innovations learned at Chicago and San Francisco.”

Hawaiian tot Mileka Moki grew up on raw sweet potato, cane juice, and poi and would likely learn to swim before she learns to talk. Even at two years old, she could dance hula.

Read about these babies in the article “Barbaric Babies: A Queer Lot to Be Found at the Fair.” “Read more about it!”

People Watching at the Library

Do you ever go people watching at Hamilton Library? Ever notice the regulars?

The San Francisco Call reports the interesting characters in the city libraries. The 10-year-old girl who borrows books to read Aristotle to her blind father at home. An unemployed man who reads newspaper advertisements and magazines from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The woman who meditates for hours.

Read more about these characters and more in “Observed in City Libraries.”

Trans-Pacific Travel Topic Guide

Canoes, sailing ships, steamboats, and airplanes. These means of transportation brought people, animals, and items to Hawaii.

To read more about the history of trans-Pacific travel in Hawaii and relevant American newspaper articles, read this topic guide about trans-Pacific travel. “Read more about it!”

Obituaries in Hawaii’s Newspapers

Obituaries contain a lot of information about the lives of deceased people. Big city newspapers cover only those deemed significant while small town newspapers may write about any resident.

Hawaii’s newspapers covered significant people including royal family members, government officials, socialites, businesspeople, humanitarians, and other influential people.

Check out this article about obituaries in Hawaii’s newspapers and “read more about it!”

Naming Friday Harbor, Washington

The Hudson Bay Company named Friday Harbor, a town in San Juan County, Washington, after a Hawaiian shepherd named John Friday.

A British gunboat went to shore. The gunboat’s commanding officer asked Friday, the only man there, what the name of the harbor was. Friday didn’t understand English well and replied “Friday,” thinking the officer was asking for his name.

The name stuck with the ship’s crew members, and eventually the British created the first chart of the archipelago with the name Friday Harbor.

Princess Kaiulani in U.S. Mainland Newspapers

If you were an American newspaper reporter in the mid-1890s, would you think of Princess Kaiulani as a “barbarian princess,” “Princess Koylani,” a “half-breed,” or a “heathen princess”? Or would you think she was a cultured, educated, and physically attractive princess? It might depend on what you have heard and whether you’ve seen her in person.

Check out what U.S. mainland newspapers wrote about Kaiulani and “read more about it!”

A Hawaiian Idol Found Near Kailua-Kona

A landowner found a large stone idol of a Hawaiian god in Honuaula, five miles from Kailua-Kona, in 1900. Found in a hole under a flat stone and covered with tapa, the idol was probably hidden during the breakdown of the kapu system in 1820. Read more about it in “Hawaiian God Found.”

The British Museum’s Hawaiian Collection

If you’re ever in London and want to see some Hawaiian artifacts, the British Museum owns an astounding collection. Artifacts include those worn only by Hawaiian royalty: sperm-whale-tooth necklaces, feathered cloaks, and feathered helmets. Collected idols include those of the war god Ku and a feather god with feathers, human hair, dog teeth, and pearl shell eyes (left image). Read more about it in “In London.”